Students of “Now” versus “Before”

Are students really all that different “Now” than they were “Before”? It is a very common proclamation that young people now have no respect, no motivation, and no problem solving ability. But really, I heard this for a while now, including when I was in school. And I still hear it now. Is each generation getting worse and worse, or do we just have that perception, that our generation was better somehow, and the generation before us, even more?

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Alberta vs. Quebec Standardized Provincial Exams

Another difference between the two schooling systems I found interesting was the provincial testing.   Here is a quick overview of both provincial testing methods along with my two cents.  

Alberta and Quebec both administer provincially regulated exams for specific courses.  In Alberta these exams are held in grade 6 and in grade 9 for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies, and in grade 12 for most courses.  In Quebec the exams are administered only in High School, in particular, in grades 10 and 11 Science, Math, English, History and French. 

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Alberta vs. Quebec School Setup – Having Junior High vs. No Junior High schools.

The general school system in Alberta is setup slightly differently than in Quebec.

In Alberta, children first go to Elementary School (Kindergarten to grade 6), then Junior High School (grade 7 to 9) and then High School (grade 10 to 12), after which the student chooses to go to college, university, or work.

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Is standardized testing what makes Alberta’s education system superior?

Originally written in September, 2006. But still very relevant:

Recently, I was reading The Economist, and to my surprise, there was an article on Alberta Schools ( According to Statistics Canada, Alberta ranks tops in education, not only across the country, but also in the world. Specifically, the article mentions Edmonton as an innovative education system stressing choice, accountability and competition, stating that each school controls its own budget, spending money on its own educational priorities.

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